Former NASCAR Driver Townley Killed in Georgia Shooting

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
October 3, 2021 Updated: October 3, 2021

ATHENS, Ga.—A former NASCAR driver was killed Saturday in a shooting in Georgia that also wounded a woman, investigators said.

John Wes Townley, 31, died in the shooting in a neighborhood around 9 p.m., Athens-Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson told the Athens Banner-Herald.

A 30-year-old woman was hurt, but police didn’t give details about her injuries.

Police have spoken to the shooter, who knew the victims. The shooting appeared to be domestic violence related, Athens-Clarke County Police Lt. Shaun Barnett said.

No charges have been filed and the investigation continues, Barnett said.

John Wes Townley
John Wes Townley stands on pit road before a NASCAR Nationwide series auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., on July 4, 2014. (Terry Renna/AP Photo)

Townley raced eight seasons and made 186 starts across the NASCAR Xfinity and Truck Series, NASCAR’s lower two national divisions. His victory in the Truck Series at Las Vegas six years ago Sunday was the only national series win of his career.

Townley drove a car owned by his father, who was a co-founder of the vehicle’s primary sponsor, restaurant chain Zaxby’s.